The duodenum is the first section of the small intestine in most higher vertebrates, including mammals, reptiles, and birds. In fish, the divisions of the small intestine are not as clear, and the terms anterior intestine or proximal intestine may be used instead of duodenum. In mammals the duodenum may be the principal site for iron absorption. The duodenum precedes the jejunum and ileum and is the shortest part of the small intestine.
|Precursor||Foregut (1st and 2nd parts), Midgut (3rd and 4th part)|
|Part of||Small intestine|
|Artery||Inferior pancreaticoduodenal artery, Superior pancreaticoduodenal artery|
|Nerve||celiac ganglia, vagus|
|Major parts of the|
In humans, the duodenum is a hollow jointed tube about 25–38 cm (10–15 inches) long connecting the stomach to the middle part of the small intestine. It begins with the duodenal bulb and ends at the suspensory muscle of duodenum. Duodenum can be divided into four parts: the first (superior), the second (descending), the third (horizontal) and the fourth (ascending) parts.